Tagged: Philadelphia

Russell Crowe

At the moment, award season buzz is centering largely around the magnificent performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club.” The two men’s performances have reminded a lot of film journalists at how well some actors have depicted gay characters on screen over the years, so let’s take a look at some of the actors who played gay characters not only well, but tastefully and with respect.

Russell Crowe: Yes, it may come as a complete surprise to many, but the great Russell Croweonce played a homosexual character on the big screen. It was before Crowe was making Hollywood blockbusters like “Gladiator,” so people can be excused if they haven’t heard of the film, but it was in an Australian film called “The Sum Of Us.” If you haven’t seen it, then you may certainly want to hunt it down and give it a watch because directors Geoff Burton and Kevin Dowling did a pretty decent job. The film itself has Crowe play Jeff Mitchell a young gay man searching for Mr. Right. His search brings him closer to his father, Harry Mitchell (Jack Thompson), who is now in the look for Miss Right. Touching, yet entertaining, the film is just a true romantic drama.

Ian Somerhalder: Long before he was playing vampire Damon Salvatore in “The Vampire Diaries,” Ian Somerhalder appeared in the very underrated flick “The Rules Of Attraction.” The flick was closely linked to “American Psycho,” was directed by Roger Avary and never really received the recognition it deserved as its alternative style of film-making made it an absolute gem. Somerhalder played Paul Denton, a young gay college student, who was disillusioned with the ‘queens’ around him and finds himself falling in love with the troubled and nasty Sean Bateman (James Van Der Beek) who was accidentally breaking hearts right across the campus.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal: How could anybody put together a list of actors who have played gay characters without mentioning Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger? When Ang Lee first put together “Brokeback Mountain,” even he admitted he wasn’t sure how the film would be received, after all was there a market for a film about a gay relationship between two cowboys? He need not have worried as the film went on to record 100 award wins worldwide, including three Oscars. It also earned Oscar nominations for Michelle Williams and the two male leads Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Ledger and Gyllenhaal put in brilliant performances as they played Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, two young cowboys involved in a passionate yet troubled relationship.

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon: When it was first announced that Michael Douglas would be playing Liberace and Matt Damon his boyfriend, Scott Thorson, the film world scoffed. In fact, they more than scoffed because the roles both seemed so out of character for both actors that many thought the film would just not work and it was pretty much decided that “Behind The Candelabra” was going to become a car-wreck of a film. People should never have doubted the creative mind of director Steven Soderbergh because he brought out the best in both actors, so much so that film critic Adam Ross was quoted on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show as saying “Douglas was so far into character it looked like he wanted to jump Damon between takes.” So good were Douglas and Damon’s performances that both have had their names mentioned during awards season.

Sean Penn: Another actor who ended up becoming an award winner while playing a gay character was Sean Penn. Penn picked up the Best Actor Academy Award in 2009 when he appeared in Gus Van Sant’s film “Milk” in the title role – playing gay activist Harvey Milk. His fellow co-star Josh Brolin also picked up the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for playing Dan White in the film that had critics ecstatic upon its release.

Tom Hanks: The great Tom Hanks also picked up an Oscar for playing a gay character when back in 1993. He played Andrew Beckett, a lawyer suffering from AIDS in the “Philadelphia.” The film not only educated the world on how hard it is for somebody infected with AIDS, but also dealt a valuable lesson about homophobia as Beckett is forced to work with a homophobic lawyer named Joe Miller (Denzel Washington). The film may be over 20 years now, but if you have never seen “Philadelphia” then it is certainly worth taking a look at.

With so many actors winning awards over the years for playing gay characters then it may seem like Mr. McConaughey and Mr. Leto might be in a good position as we all head into Awards season.

Tom Hanks

When Oscar nominations have been announced over the years Tom Hanks’ name has been read out five times. He has won two Oscars – one for “Philadelphia” and one for “Forrest Gump” – and been nominated for “Big,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Cast Away.” The mere fact that he has had his name read out five times shows just what a good actor he is, so what are the best films to sit down and watch if you want to see the best that Tom Hanks has to offer.

“Forrest Gump” (1994) – At a quick glance the film “Forrest Gump” should not have worked. The very idea of taking one character and placing him in the right place to be involved in some of the world’s most historic moments sounds like the kind of script that would be too hard to bring to the screen. That wasn’t the case though when Robert Zemeckis tackled this film, instead he made one of the finest films to ever come out of Hollwood. Aside from Zemeckis’ great work you also have a great performance by Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest Gump. Hanks brought an air of innocence as he played one of the most lovable simpletons of all time.

“Cast Away” (2000) – Hanks also brought his A-game to another film that on paper looked like it should never have worked. The idea of taking a character and placing them on an island where their only partner in conversation is a volleyball sounds like a boring kind of film, yet once again director Robert Zemeckis was up to the task. A disheveled looking Tom Hanks showed the world exactly what ‘against-type’ acting is all about, while making the scenes between him and Wilson the volleyball the kind that the audience can’t take their eyes away from.

“Saving Mr. Banks” (2013) – It’s hard to imagine that when Tom Hanks was asked to play the legendary Walt Disney in 2013’s “Saving Mr. Banks” that it was the first time that anybody had every portrayed the filmmaker on the big screen. The film followed Walt Disney’s fight to bring the film “Mary Poppins” to the big screen when her creator P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) sticks her heels in and decides things will be done her way. While Hanks’ pretty much bares no physical resemblance to Disney at all he did capture all of his mannerisms and ended up pulling out one of the surprise performances of the year. With Colin Farrell also putting in a great performance the two men and Thompson made this one of the must see films of the year.

“Captain Phillips” (2013) – Over the years Tom Hanks has revealed himself as one of the finest character actors of all time. In 2013 he was on fire delivering good performances in “Cloud Atlas” and “Saving Mr. Banks” but he saved his best for “Captain Phillips.” Director Paul Greengrass worked hard to bring the true story of Captain Richard Phillips’ clash with Somali pirates to the big screen and his leading man delivered in sensational form. Hanks was great throughout the film, but during the final half an hour of the film he gave every other actor in Hollywood an acting lesson. As the film reaches its tensest moments Hanks turns his acting skills up to a level rarely seen and enhanced the film in a way that had critics unloading the praise.

“Toy Story 3” (2010) – Throughout his career Tom Hanks has played so many unique characters that it is easy to forget that one of his best performances came when he was simply voicing a character. A lot of cinema lovers seem to have forgotten over the years that Hanks has voiced the character of the lovable toy cowboy Woody all throughout the “Toy Story” franchise. When it was announced that “Toy Story 3” was going into production a lot of naysayers decided that this would be one too many “Toy Story” films, but they proved to be completely wrong when the film exceeded all expectations and became a gripping tension filled film for children and adults alike. “Toy Story 3” wasn’t just a good film it became one of the best animated films ever made.

It is hard to sit down and look at Tom Hanks’ film career and pick just a few films that are great to watch. Hanks has built a career on making great films so whenever you see his name on a film poster you know you are about to watch something special.

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

With the boys bedazzled by Christian Bale’s gut and comb-over in ‘American Hustle’ they decided it was time to deliver The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show List of Actors Who Have Undergone Extreme Makeovers For Roles (wow that title is loonnnnngggggg.)

 

ADAM ROSS’ LIST

Edward Norton

  • Christian Bale (The Machinist)
  • Robert De Niro (Raging Bull)
  • Russell Crowe (The Insider)
  • Michael Fassbender (Hunger)
  • Tom Hardy (Bronson)
  • Charlize Theron (Monster)
  • Jared Leto (Chapter 27)
  • Edward Norton (American History X)
  • George Clooney (Syriana)
  • Ben Affleck (The Town)
  • Matt Damon (Courage Under Fire)
  • Tom Hanks (Castaway)

 

DAVID GRIFFITHS’ LIST

Noomi Rapace

  • Stephen Curry (The Cup)
  • Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
  • Robert De Niro (Raging Bull)
  • Tom Hanks (Castaway)
  • Jared Leto (Chapter 27)
  • Curtis Jackson (Things Fall Apart)
  • Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
  • Christian Bale (The Machinist)
  • Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
  • Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
  • Charlize Theron (Monster)
  • Ashton Kutcher (Jobs)
  • George Clooney (Syriana)
  • Russell Crowe (Body Of Lies)
  • Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones’ Diary)

 

GREG KING’S LIST

Johnny Knoxville

  • Marlon Brando (The Godfather)
  • Ben Kingsley (Gandhi)
  • Tom Hanks (Philadelphia)
  • Robert Downey Jnr. (Tropic Thunder)
  • John Hurt (The Elephant Man)
  • Dustin Hoffman (Little Big Man)
  • Johnny Knoxville (Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa)
  • Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter franchise)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class)
  • Linda Hunt (The Year Of Living Dangerously)

 

NICK GARDENER’S LIST

Robert Downey Jnr Tropic Thunder

  • Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder)
  • Robert Downey Jnr (Tropic Thunder)
  • Will Ferrell (Zoolander)
  • Matt Damon (The Informant)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (I’m Still Here)
  • Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
  • Peter Sellers (throughout career)
  • Cameron Diaz (Being John Malkovich)
  • John Cusack (Being John Malkovich)
  • James Franco (Spring Breakers)
  • Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast)
  • Robert De Niro (The King Of Comedy)
  • Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
  • John Hurt (The Elephant Man)

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

The boys from ‘The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show’ take a look at the best socially conscious films.

 

DAVID GRIFFITHS’ LIST

To Kill A Mockingbird

  • Rain Man (1988)
  • Clubland (2007)
  • The Black Balloon (2008)
  • Kidulthood (2006)
  • Kids (1995)
  • Bully (2001)
  • Blessed (2009)
  • Samson & Delilah (2009)
  • Avatar (2009)
  • Fern Gully (1992)
  • Lord Of War (2005)
  • Tom White (2004)
  • Em 4 Jay (2008)
  • Milk (2008)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
  • Mississippi Burning (1988)
  • Beyond Borders (2003)

 

NICK GARDENER’S LIST

Samson & Delilah

  • Blood Diamond (2006)
  • The Angels’ Share (2012)
  • Another Year (2010)
  • Wall Street (1987)
  • Over The Edge (1979)
  • A Separation (2011)
  • Samson & Delilah (2009)
  • 1984 (1984)
  • An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
  • The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers (2009)
  • The Tall Man (2011)
  • Samsara (2011)
  • Michael Moore’s films
  • Seven Up! (1964)
  • The Blackpower Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

 

ADAM ROSS’ LIST

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

  • Monsieur Lazhar (2011)
  • Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
  • District 9 (2009)
  • Once Were Warriors (1994)
  • Sin Nombre (2009)
  • American History X (1998)
  • Romper Stomer (1992)
  • This Is England (2006)
  • Sicko (2007)
  • Requiem For A Dream (2000)
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Palindromes (2004)
  • Ring Of Fire (1991)
  • Mean Creek (2004)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • Boogie Nights (1997)
  • Shame (2011)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • Jisoe (2007)

 

GREG KING’S LIST

The China Syndrome

  • The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)
  • The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
  • Brother Can You Spare A Dime (1975)
  • GasLand (2010)
  • Promised Land (2012)
  • Vera Drake (2004)
  • The Front (1976)
  • Bully (2011)
  • Valentine Road (2013)
  • Welcome (2009)
  • Le Havre (2011)
  • Balibo (2009)
  • Water (2005)
  • Tomboy (2011)
  • Trade (2007)
  • The Jammed (2007)
  • Philadelphia (1993)
  • The Color Purple (1985)
  • The Help (2011)
  • Maria Full Of Grace (2004)
  • Erin Brokovich (2000)
  • The China Syndrome (1979)
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004)
  • The Killing Fields (1984)
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
  • Cry Freedom (1987)
  • Blood Diamond (2006)
  • La Haine (1995)